Director: Yves Simoneau
Writer: Jefferson Lewis
Release Date: 2008
If a human being can be transformed into a monster, capable of killing strangers in cold blood, is it possible to un-make such a monster? What would it take? And would the people who created the monster ever let him go?
Dermot’s Ghost is the story of an assassin for a violent IRA splinter group who is sent into hiding in rural Quebec just as the British troops are finally leaving Northern Ireland. Recruited at the age of 13 by an ex-priest named Dermot Kelly, Jimmy Quick has become a legend for his loyalty to Dermot, for his ability to kill and vanish.
Set in 2007, the movie opens with Jimmy being sent to kill a British politician but leaving witnesses. With his identity exposed, Jimmy is smuggled out of Ireland and to Montreal, and from there into hiding on a farm. The husband in the family that takes him in, Kevin O’Connor, is a drug smuggler. His wife Marielle is an ER nurse, and they have a 6-year-old son named Gabriel, a troubling reminder for Jimmy of his own brother, killed in a pub bombing at the same age. Slowly Jimmy is drawn into their lives and starts to question his own devotion to the ‘cause’ that has been his life. He falls hopelessly in love with Marielle and she, distanced by her husband’s secrecy and frequent absences, falls in love with Jimmy. It isn’t love alone that unmakes the terrorist, but it cracks the shell. The revealing moment comes when he tries to save Kevin after a logging accident. It is Jimmy who, risking exposure, takes him to the hospital emergency, and is with him when he dies. That gesture is crucial to Marielle, seeing Jimmy’s basic humanity emerge, seeing his struggle to become human again.
Jimmy and Marielle become lovers before Dermot shows up to summon Jimmy back to Belfast. When Jimmy refuses, Dermot sends killers. Jimmy is lying in wait. He kills the attackers, and then tracks down Dermot. Jimmy pays with his own life, but manages to save the only two people in the world he loves.